Renault is convinced its 2018 car can move the team closer to its goal of winning another Formula One world championship.
On Tuesday the team launched the R.S.18, its third car since returning to the grid as a fully-fledged manufacturer. The French team has prioritised progress over championship positions in its first two seasons and has always stressed that it is embarking on a long-term project back to the front of the grid.
Despite failing to produce an engine capable of competing with Mercedes since 2014, or Ferrari in 2017, while also struggling to master reliability issues, the team is quietly confident about the new season.
The press released which accompanied the launched boldly declared: "The power unit has realised a very strong programme on the dyno in [Renault's headquarters] Viry-Châtillon to maximise performance and improve reliability in preparation for the reduction to just three internal combustion engines (ICE) and two MGU-K and energy stores per season."
New engine partner McLaren has also been making positive statements about the progress it has seen from Renault since making the switch from Honda at the start of the year. Renault president Jérôme Stoll is convinced his company is still on the course it set itself in 2016.
"Renault Sport Formula One Team's ambition is clearly to uphold the outstanding record of the past and the 2017 season has confirmed we are on the right track," Stoll said. "We are a team on the rise. We have two very talented drivers who are hungry for results.
"Enstone is regenerated and the workforce has already increased by more than 35%. Our investment has so far been successfully translated to the track as we rose from ninth to sixth in the Constructors' Championship in 2017 and ended the year with the fourth fastest car.
"The success of the programme in just two years is testament to the resilient plan laid down early in the creation of the team and the strong job done by Cyril and the entire Renault Sport Racing teams. I am convinced year three will take us one step closer to the long-term aim: winning races and challenging for championships."
Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz will pilot the R.S.18 in 2018.